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Sunday, February 3, 2013

How protective should parents be?

The tragic news of the two brothers who were killed in a horrific accident in Tampines (at the junction of Tampines Avenue 9 and Tampines Street 45) last week gripped the nation.  Even if you have not seen the very graphic and disturbing accident photos, it doesn't take much imagination to know what the result will be when a young cyclist and his pillion rider goes under a cement mixer truck.  Just thinking about it makes my eyes watery.  It is a cruel way to lose two young lives.  My condolences to the family of the two brothers.

I will not jump to conclusions about the accident as there are too many unknowns.  It would be very unfair to put the blame on the truck driver without a thorough investigation.

The other question that arises from this incident has to be whether we should be protective parents, in what degree and until what age?

I firmly believe that life's lessons are best learnt not through teaching but through experience.  That is why I allow Aiden to fall repeatedly, to experiment with things, to get hurt a little.  It has made it easier for him to understand why he shouldn't play with the fan, why he should keep his toys after use, why he cannot jump from a high point.  It has also made him more resilient.  Developing a child's Adversity Quotient is as important as his Intelligence Quotient and the Emotional Quotient.

But with news like this, I wonder whether I should be more protective over him, to avoid putting him in harm's way unnecessarily.  It really is difficult.

Remember to give your kids a tight hug today.


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